24 Hours in…Amsterdam!

You’ve landed in Amsterdam, you’ve got a mere 24 hours to soak it up – time to panic, right? Wrong! When you’ve got dealchecker on side, you can laugh in the face of time contraints – here’s our hour-by-hour guide to how to get the most out of this most relaxed of European cities…Ready, steady…GO!

10am: Rise and shine, sleepyhead, time is of the essence! Grab breakfast, the Dutch way; sample an oilbollen (fried dough balls with raisins – don’t tell us you’re not tempted!) or hagelslag. On a budget? Drop into an Albert Heijn – the local grocery chain – for the same kind of pastries at lower prices.

11am: Rent a bike, obviously. Everyone knows that Amsterdam is known for three things: tulips, relaxed drug laws and bicycles. It’s the best way to see the city, it’s cheap and you’ll feel delightfully quaint and just a little smug as you meander your way around plodding tourists. Get used to your gears in the Vondelpark – surely the prettiest park in the city.

Image by Draindis

12pm: What, you thought you were just here to marinade in the heady fumes of quirky hipster cafes? Think on! It’s museum time; head to Museumplein to explore the Rijksmusum and Van Gogh Museum. Soak up great works of art whilst you wander the halls of these illustrious Amsterdam institutions. No dilly dallying in the gift shop…your 24 hours is passing you by as we speak.

2pm: Got the munchies? Not those kind, silly, what do you take us for? Take yourself to the cheap, yummy restaurants of De Pijp, which is sort of like a Dutch version of Londons Dalston or Berlin’s Kreuzberg; artist-heavy, banker-light. If that sounds like your sort of thing, we suggest you park your bike here for a spot of people watching. Alternatively, head to the Jordaan’s glamorous cafes for a coffee – as you’ve probably gathered, Amsterdam is the undisputed king of cafe culture.

Image by Jennicatpink

3pm: Visit Electric Ladyland for a decidedly different artistic experience than that of the Rijksmusum and its ilk. It calls itself the ‘First Museum of Flourecent art’, and it encourages participation from visitors.When you emerge into the light like blind mice, drop into the Noordermarkt – if you’re there on a Saturday, its heaving with stalls selling all sorts of lovely knick-knacks, food and even clothes.

5pm: Wander aimlessly. In our opinion, its the best way to get to know a city. Put down the map, disregard our tips (it pains us to write this), and make friends with the mean streets.

6pm: Eat a big dinner to prepare you for the night ahead – we suggest De Zotte on Raamstraat which boasts delicious steaks and a huge selection of Belgian beers.

Image by JustineLuckycat

7pm: You thought we’d missed out the Anne Frank house, didn’t you? Nope, we’re just smart, that’s all. Visiting late means that you’ll avoid the crowds – in the summer they’re open till 9pm!

9pm: Depending on your company/priorities/familial situation, you can avoid or stick with this next step: pay a little visit to the Red Light District – well, you’ve got to say you’ve seen it at least, don’t you?! Don’t stay so long that you feel like you need hot shower afterwards though, just to scrub away some of the seediness.

Image by sashko.bought.camera

11pm: Hit the Rembradtplein to see the biggest clubs in the city. This isn’t for the faint hearted or those who don’t like loud music. We’ve had friends who learnt this the hard way.

2pm: Hit the hay, or carry on the party. We commend either choice…

Fancy your own 24-hour sojourn? Grab some cheap flights to Amsterdam here!